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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Thames & Kennet Marina
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    I've just taken delivery of an Excel SD260, with inflatable keel and airdeck. Compared to my older, larger roundtail with solid floor, the difference is night and day.
    I can't comment on your use case, but I'm impressed with the Excel boat. Well made with a good warranty and inflates easily. Worth noting there's 5 chambers (3 main in the tubes, aerodeck and the keel). I've got a 4hp 2stroke with it - I can't quite plane it as I'm 6'3" with 'winter insulation', but it handles well....now I'm looking at some 8hp engines, just in case I fancy speeding up. It's also RCD Category C rated, which is a nice to have (not that I'll be taking it out in anything more than a gentle breeze!)

    Excel also make a couple of light boats that are worth looking at.

    You can buy electric / rechargeable pumps, but there will be no getting away from the folding up bother you'll have to go through. Suggest you avoid roundtails as you'll have to faff with the removable transom as well.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Thanks for comments, keep them coming!

    I expect you're not far off oldgit 'it might get used twice', I do have a collection of 'good ideas' that have had relatively little use!

    So with no davits and not wanting to tow we'll be resigned to stowing it on the foredeck when we're onboard and packing it away when we're not. I think I can make sufficient room in the hold to store it folded (maybe take out the 2 folding bikes that we've used twice )

    I think novelty value will play it's part for a while - for most of my life I've played about on the sea (dinghy sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, kayaking) but my fitness isn't what it was so having a little toy to plod around in does have an appeal. There are some things we'd do on the river as mentioned but we live by Portsmouth harbour-side so pottering around the harbour would also be fun (up to Portchester castle, Salt Cafe at Wicor etc).

    I do like the look of the Excel SL260 for the money (looks tough enough and lightweight) and considering one of those with a Mariner 3.5 to go push it along (subject to being happy with where I stow it).

    Leaning towards doing something, I'll update you on the outcome!
    Viking 295 - Life's too Short
    www.viking295.blogspot.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    8,301

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    I have the heavier SD290 with a 3.5 Mercury/Mariner and it does actually plane after a bit of shuffling around the floor and waiting! 12mph tops, as the prop cavitates above that. Two up, not a chance, but a 5hp would be best. Used Mercury 2.5/3.5's all over eBay...

    Three years on the Excel is still superb...

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey
    Posts
    20,949

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgit View Post
    have walk round any marina or boat yard and take look at the sheer number of mouldering deflated bags of air hanging from davits (which the marina delight in charging you for) and after the initial enthusiasm has worn off,remain unused.
    They also get in way when squeezing into that last tight space last thing at night and can cause problems with the boat behind in the lock.
    Apart from the odd weirdo , ask any boater cursed with davits just how many times last year he clambered in the wobbly rubber nightmare to attach the outboard(dont ask about it dragging the evil stinky thing out of its locker),starting it up or conking out half way back on your return journey.
    Aha you say,no davits will pack away and inflate when needed.Suggest after doing you back in when dragging from car to boat and the space it takes up in cabin or cockpit, it might get used twice.
    Thinking about that little journey from boat to pub on nice summer evenings, you could walk quicker and not be worrying in dinghy has been nicked while you were in pub either !
    Just buying for the kids.. start to worrying now.
    Save your money.
    The answer is that if you are going to fit davits, then fit ones that will take the weight of dinghy with outboard. I see no benefit in having davits if you still have to go through the palaver of clambering into the dinghy to fit the outboard motor while struggling to maintain your balance.

    Davits with dinghy and outboard slung from them are a joy and make living on the hook a much more pleasurable experience. It also makes the dinghy much less likely to get nicked when you are sailing in some tropical waters. (We can all dream!)

    PS I haven't ever been charged extra for having the dinghy in davits on the back of our boat, but I don't boat on the Thames, so perhaps its different? How often do you use a tender on the Thames anyway?
    Last edited by john_morris_uk; 15-03-19 at 11:59.
    Semper aliud

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Decision made and deals done. Later in the week I'll have an Excel 260 with a Mariner 3.5 ready to go! A few family things going on for the next couple of weekends though so not sure when I'll be able to go for a play.
    Viking 295 - Life's too Short
    www.viking295.blogspot.com

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,534

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    PS I haven't ever been charged extra for having the dinghy in davits on the back of our boat, but I don't boat on the Thames, so perhaps its different? How often do you use a tender on the Thames anyway?
    Virtually every marina/boatyard/boatclub in the known universe will be stretching their tape measure from the tip of the bow to the utmost bit astern, frequently the outer tube of inflatable .
    In the case of a Turbo 36 this adds up to 42ft.
    It might have a 36 ft Decal on the side of boat , but if the magic money tape indicates 42ft with dinghy, invoice will be for 42ft
    Always interesting organising club cruises, arriving at your destination and watching the faces of skippers when they declare their boat length in the marina office.Some apparently identical boats shrink before your ears.
    The more experienced skippers can sometimes keep straight face, others stare at the ceiling.
    Last edited by oldgit; 17-03-19 at 08:13.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Travelling
    Posts
    10,314

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgit View Post
    have walk round any marina or boat yard and take look at the sheer number of mouldering deflated bags of air hanging from davits (which the marina delight in charging you for) and after the initial enthusiasm has worn off,remain unused.
    They also get in way when squeezing into that last tight space last thing at night and can cause problems with the boat behind in the lock.
    Apart from the odd weirdo , ask any boater cursed with davits just how many times last year he clambered in the wobbly rubber nightmare to attach the outboard(dont ask about it dragging the evil stinky thing out of its locker),starting it up or conking out half way back on your return journey.
    Aha you say,no davits will pack away and inflate when needed.Suggest after doing you back in when dragging from car to boat and the space it takes up in cabin or cockpit, it might get used twice.
    Thinking about that little journey from boat to pub on nice summer evenings, you could walk quicker and not be worrying in dinghy has been nicked while you were in pub either !
    Just buying for the kids.. start to worrying now.
    Save your money.
    Exactly right. The opportunities or need to use a dinghy and outboard on the Thames are very limited unless you just like playing with them.
    "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    4,221

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntyRinum View Post
    Exactly right. The opportunities or need to use a dinghy and outboard on the Thames are very limited unless you just like playing with them.
    Heavens, what has happened to folks' spirit of adventure.
    There are "lots" of backwaters that can be explored by dinghy. Just drop and anchor somewhere where the River is wide and go for a potter.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
    Heavens, what has happened to folks' spirit of adventure.
    There are "lots" of backwaters that can be explored by dinghy. Just drop and anchor somewhere where the River is wide and go for a potter.
    Exactly, it's just for a bit of fun really. From where our boat is based we can pop out for a picnic at Lady Lindsays, go for a drink at the Red Lion or Anglers, explore parts of the Wey, it'll even be quicker to visit other friends in the marina than walking When we're back up t'other end of the river we may be able to make it to Dorchester and other little places hard to reach in a bigger boat. And of course, we live by Portsmouth harbour and the Solent, so I'm sure we'll have fun while at home as well
    Viking 295 - Life's too Short
    www.viking295.blogspot.com

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Travelling
    Posts
    10,314

    Default Re: Are you sitting comfortably .Then we will begin..

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Grubb View Post
    Exactly, it's just for a bit of fun really. From where our boat is based we can pop out for a picnic at Lady Lindsays, go for a drink at the Red Lion or Anglers, explore parts of the Wey, it'll even be quicker to visit other friends in the marina than walking When we're back up t'other end of the river we may be able to make it to Dorchester and other little places hard to reach in a bigger boat. And of course, we live by Portsmouth harbour and the Solent, so I'm sure we'll have fun while at home as well
    Then you can't go wrong with a Suzumar dinghy and a 4Hp Suzuki, which is what I have on the boat.
    "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

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